Thanksgiving is upon us! This weekend in Racine County includes some early morning Turkey Day exercise, a big meal, fancy homes and local shopping. Real Racine has you covered!

Big meal and big fun. The annual Dan and Ray’s Rendering Thanks has turned into a huge local tradition. This free community Thanksgiving Day meal of turkey, ham, potatoes and the trimmings runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Festival Hall, 5 Fifth St. It’s all prepared and served by hundreds of community volunteers. There will be continuous live entertainment, football on the big screen and kids activities. Nonperishable food items will be accepted for the Racine County Food Bank. The meal is free to all – donations are welcome.

Running in Burlington. Celebrate your Thanksgiving Day with a 5k run-walk. The Burlington Turkey Trot gets under way at 8:30 a.m. from Burlington High School, 400 McCanna Parkway. Packet pick up starts at 7:30 a.m. The Thrivent Financial post-race celebration and awards ceremony is at 9:30 a.m. Awards will be presented to the top three overall male and female finishers and to the top three finishers in each age group. Registration is $30 in advance; $35 on race day. Register at:

Morning exercise. Racine Turkey Trot 2018 starts at 9 a.m. at North Beach, 100 Kewaunee St. This 5k timed race is along the Lake Michigan shore line. All participants receive a custom finishers medal. An optional t-shirt is available at an additional charge. The top three male and female runners will receive a turkey for first place, a ham for second place and a Cornish game hen for third place. Registration is $30. Visit

Decorated for you. Three historic Racine homes are beautifully decorated and open for holiday season tours starting this week. Christmas at the Mansions features the Christmas House, 116 10th St., Lochnaiar Inn, 121 Lake Ave., and the Racine Masonic Center (Henry S. Durand Mansion), 1012 Main St. All are within easy walking distance of each other. You can tour all three of these magnificent homes for $15 as a fundraiser for Shiners’ Hospitals, SAFE Haven and Faith, Hope & Love. Tours are from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays starting this week (Nov. 21) and running through Dec. 19. A special added tour is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8. While you’re there, you can take part in a weekly prize raffle, enjoy baked goods and food trucks along with the lights in East Park.

Shopping local. A reminder that this Saturday is Small Business Saturday. You’re encouraged to patronize the small businesses that are run by your neighbors throughout Racine County. There is free parking all day in the City of Racine on surface lots, streets and the McMynn Tower ramp. Learn more at

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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...